California Tea House

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Recent Tasting Notes


Tea #7 from Traveling Tea Box C

Unfortunately, I’m sampling things at a much slower pace than I would like. I’ll have to cut my sampling short, but I’ll definitely grab samples of ones I’m interested in.

This one sounds really interesting, and I generally enjoy white teas. Dry, this one smells really weird. Almost a sour smell, but it hasn’t gone bad. No worries, its super tasty! The yogurt isn’t really noticeably there, but I really love the melon (honeydew, I would say) and the white tea together. I think I’ll be keeping this one!

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This was pretty good, but when placed among the pantheon of great similar long-leaved beautiful teas from China with malt and chocolate and smoothness, I don’t think it stands out particularly (we are so spoiled these days!). There are nice subtle floral and clean things going on at the front, but its body isn’t quite as thick and silky smooth as some of those others. Gonna stick with my golden teas from Teavivre and Verdant I think.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This tea isn’t for me. There is a flavor in it that I can’t place, but I don’t enjoy. Nope, not at all. Glad I only ordered the sample. I’ll throw it in the BBBB grab bag so others can try it, as it seems to get semi decent reviews. Just not from me!


I didn’t like this one either. I haven’t found a CTH I love yet, but I hope to.

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I bought this one to share with the BBBB ladies in the next round and couldn’t wait to try it. I’ve been eyeing it for months and finally caved since I wanted something good to share with the ladies. I brewed this up while I was seasoning my insanely cute new yixing mug. Photo here:

Brewed up, this tea is super chocolaty. And almost like a keemun in its smoke flavor, not bbq flavor, but smokey. I like it and am enjoying it, but am not as blown away as others who have reviewed it. It’s definitely interesting though, very very chocolatey. The keemun notes throw me for a loop though.

El Monstro

I’ve been interested in trying this tea for awhile, the “very very chocolatey” part sounds intriguing.

Terri HarpLady

That mug is adorable!
The tea sounds interesting too!
I can’t believe I haven’t mailed the box out yet, I’ve been so busy.
Sorry about that!


Oh, the painting on that mug is awesome!

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Tea #9 from Traveling Tea Box C


Mmm, creamy honeydew goodness. I’m beginning to think that melon and white tea were made to be together. The yogurt does add much in the way of flavor, but instead acts to smooth things out. The resteep contained a lot of the same honeydew notes, but lacked the creaminess of the first steep.

While this tea doesn’t measure up to Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream, it certainly could satisfy a similar craving, so I set aside a few teaspoons for later.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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This was alright, but the steeping parameters seemed strong both in amount and duration for my tastes and maybe I should’ve listened to my gut about easing back a bit as this has a strong bitter element, even with some milk and sugar. The thing is, the almond butter flavor is pretty strong in aroma but less so in taste; there’s a chance making the tea less strong will bring it out more though as I suspect the black tea bitterness might be overwhelming it.

That said the rich bitterness worked well with a dutch caramel wafer/stroopwafel, so there’s that. Love those things.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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“Another Traveling Tea Box?!?!”

Am I crazy to have something with Valerian root this early in the day? Probably. This is a really nice blend though. Pretty light for a chai, but I love that it’s heavy on the cinnamon and cloves. The vanilla in this is also nice!

Short Sorceress

Quite possibly :) Valerian always makes me so sleepy.


I’m trying to get through the rest of the box this weekend so I can send it out Monday or Tusday so I’m kind of randomly working my way through the box!

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This is my favorite iced rooibos tea. It is delicious and my family loves it!


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This is delicious iced! The aroma of the dry blend is a bit off-putting but after steeping in the fridge for 24 hours both the aroma and the taste are magnificent – lemon and cream with no rooibos flavor detected. One packet of Splenda added and it’s ready to serve. My guests love it!

Iced 8 min or more

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I was super excited to try this tea when I came across it in the Traveling Tea Box. The dry leaves smell sweet and nutty with a small hint of chocolate. The tea itself smells more like fresh green tea with some nuttiness. The flavor is buttery green tea with a strong nutty taste. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of cocoa, with a nice toastiness to it. Sweetener definitely brings out more of the chocolate, which makes it so much better in my opinion. I’m glad I got to try this one, but I doubt that I will ever purchase any.

The little foster kitty came running and sniffed my tea again. I don’t think she cared for this tea either, since she put her tail up and sashayed off!

-Dry blend has medium green tea leaves and twigs with slices of nuts and white blossoms.
-Dry leaves smell sweet and nutty with a small hint of chocolate. Tea liquor aroma is of fresh green tea with a hint of nuttiness.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy medium yellow color with an oily sheen on top.
-Buttery green tea and strong nutty flavor and finish. Slightly bitter and toasty aftertaste with a hint of cocoa.
-Best with sweetener.
-Good tea. Fresh green tea and nutty flavor with a trace of bitterness.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Tiramisu by California Tea House
388 tasting notes

A tea from a mystery swap, Thanks Shelley_Lorraine! This tea smells really good, and I definitely got the tiramisu type taste. But I somehow tasted a little maple? The rooibos taste is pretty strong in this one but it kind matches well with the flavoring I think but this isn’t a tea I’d like to have a lot of. Good to try though definitely, a little treat :)

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So I’m not entirely sure that this is what I had last night. It wasn’t labeled but I did give some to my mom, which is labeled & looks like this tea.
I’m also pretty sure I took it from the traveling tea box the last time around.

It smelt creamy & coffee like. However once steeped it was light on flavour & smell. Probably a result of age & storing conditions.
I think that if this were fresh it would be quite good.
So not going to give it a rating due to that.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Made a half of a pitcher of this to keep in the fridge as it’s currently 102º outside. Oh and that’s not counting what the humidity makes it feel like! Gross…

Anyway, I really like traditional Italian dessert. The coffee and cream in it is so rich that I can only occasionally enjoy it. So I thought this would be a lovely way to have my dessert but without the crazy fullness that happens after I indulge.

Steeped 2 cups of water with 5 tsp. of tisane for well over 10 minutes. I couldn’t wait until it cooled down, so I poured a little of it over a couple ice cubes, some whole milk (no calories spared here!) and some simple syrup. This is DELICIOUS – Definitely a wonderful way to have this! I taste coffee and cocoa and if it wasn’t already in there, the milk takes the creaminess over the top!

I’ll probably be keeping this on hand to have latte-style!

Boiling 8 min or more

It’s getting hot here too, but oddly it’s not humid at all and it’s really freaking me out. Stay cool!


Just Shut Up! Sounds toooo good!


Oh YUMMMMMMMMM One of my favorite desserts!

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Thank you to QueenOfTarts for swapping this!

It smells amazing in the bag! Yes, a little reminiscent of my lemon scented 409 multi-surface cleaner, but I’m not worried. I keep huffing the bag that the tea came in – it’s pretty awesome!

Steeped 2 tsp in 6 oz. of water that was 167º for 3 minutes = probably the best flavored green tea I’ve enjoyed in quite awhile! 3 oz. were reserved for hot unadulterated consumption. It was a little stronger than I like, but easily fixable. The other 3 oz. were iced and lightly sweetened. I like it best this way, but maybe that’s because it’s currently hot and summery out. Drinking it this way is like taking a mini-vacation to a tropical place – laying in one of those really comfortable lounge chairs under an umbrella in a bikini on the beach. I think I just talked myself into ordering a large bag of this…

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

LOL as long as your not HUFFING 409!!!
You made me want to go to Florida by the way!

Will Work For Tea

LOL – Luckily I keep the 409 and the tea in separate cabinets! :)


Oooh, this one sounds great

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Thanks LauraR!

Finally got round to trying this. I sort of forgot that I had it, probably because I have quite a few lime/coconut green teas. The scent of the dry leaf is very strongly lime, with coconut in the background. I can’t smell the green tea at all, and the smell of the steeped tea is pretty much the same. On the taste front, this one is a winner. The lime, as I suspected, is prominent but there is a fair helping of coconut. I can’t taste the base at all, save for a hint right at the end of the sip.

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I think Steepster is making me sensitive to buzz words. There are certain words that I will never be able to bring myself to use again as the sight of them gives me tics… I just came across a bit of text that combined some of my most hated ones. Ick!

Brand new tea to the rescue! Just one of very many situations where writing a Steepster post totally helps. (In this case it helps by proving to myself and others that the above can easily be avoided)

Anyway, this one was part of my recent gift from Wombatgirl and one that she has had some trouble getting anything useful out of. Apparently the problem was that it simply refused to have any sort of strength or flavour at all.

According to instructions one is supposed to use 6-8 of these little rings for a cup and water a little under boiling. I have not followed these instructions. I have in fact used these instructions as a basis for how to NOT follow them.

For one thing I customarily use more than average leaf and shorter than average steeping times, so I counted out ten rings for my one-cup-pot and gave it the usual minute. Secondly ‘a little under boiling water’ is not something I feel comfortable about pouring on a green tea. That’s what I use for most blacks. (Experience have taught me that not quite boiling water brings out the best in some of my favourites) So I wated a little longer before pouring the water into the pot, like I would with any other green tea.

What I got out of this is a very pale cup, but not completely colourless. At first it was sort a slightly orange-y yellow tint to the water, but having stood and developed a bit it’s turning more orange.

The aroma of it is rather like the colour. Pale. Mostly it smells like steam, but as with the colour it comes out more after the cup has rested for a moment. I have to say my immediate thought was pu-erh. It has that same kind of livestock quality to it, but obviously it’s otherwise not even remotely like pu-erh. It’s got a sweetish note and something sort of straw-ish, which doesn’t surprise me, considering this is a Yunnan tea.

The flavour is… Um. Uh. sips slurp sip sip


Flavour of Daughter Ring from CaliforniaTeaHouse! Last detected leaving the CaliforniaTeaHouse headquarters. Supposedly smooth, fresh and high aroma.

Reward: Five biscuits.

I’ll have to experiment some more with this, I think. At the moment I can’t give it any points, because apart from warm water, I haven’t a clue what it tastes like.


What buzz words should I avoid? :)


It’s mostly people who consequently use abbriviations instead of writing a word. Some people do this for as many words as they possibly can and it makes for really jarring reading. That, and the tendency to replace all -ty endings with -tea, which is neither cute nor clever. Both are things that just makes me wish people would learn to spell really simple words.


(a) Pitfall of a texting culture—everythg abbrev. I am so thankful for a teenager who spells everything out…correctly!
(b) Pitfall of frequent tea drinkers, which I find myself falling into as well.


In other words, I’m getting old and curmudgeonly. :p Nothing new there. :p


Here’s to curmudgeonliness!


I second that!

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Thanks to Lori for the sample!

I’m so glad that I had a chance to sample this because I can now confirm with certainty that this is SpecialTeas’ Almond Cookie! From the appearance, scent and taste it’s all the same.

So, please see my review of Almond Cookie for further tasting details. :)

It’s a delicious tea, nonetheless.

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Thank for sending me some of this Lori. I can clearly see the ingredients. And dry and wet this smells like mango and black tea. And mango I’s one of my favorite fruits and I really like black tea to. I can really taste the mango and the black tea. And I steeped this up and think this is really good.


Oh , you welcome and if you decide to purchase this one, it is possible that the mango tea on the Special Teas website is the same or similar tea….and it has a cheaper price…

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